The last day before half term saw 24 excited Year 4 boys go on a sports tour which will live long in their memory. This wasn’t just any sports tour, this was a sports tour to the home of English Football, St George’s Park. It is home to all the England football teams ranging from U-16s to the 1st team as well as League One team Burton Albion FC.
As we drove down Sir Alf Ramsey way with Three Lions being played in the minibuses, the excitement was starting to build. The boys imagining the likes of Harry Kane and Gareth Southgate driving down the exact same road to report for England Duty. The boys were so keen to play football, that we left all our bags in the hotel reception and went to test out the 4G pitches with a training session. In true Soccer AM fashion, we had a ‘crossbar challenge’, ‘penalty shout out’ and a ‘top bins’ competition for the boys which they all thoroughly enjoyed.
Evening came and after an excellent buffet dinner, the boys travelled to take on the local opposition in the shape of Litchfield AFC in their first fixture. Whilst the results did not go Surbiton’s way, the attitude and endeavour from every single boy should be applauded.
The sun rose and Mr Blood with help from Mr Buckingham woke up the boys from their deep slumber, so that they could race down to take advantage the buffet breakfast. After much thinking, Mr Blood decided that breakfast was the favourite part of tour already!
Saturday saw the boys get a guided tour around all the facilities at St George’s Park, this included access to the England changing room and hydrotherapy rooms which have been made famous by pictures of the players playing with inflatable unicorns. Following the tour, the boys had a training session with qualified England coaches on the indoor 4G pitch which cost the FA approximately £5 million. So, Mrs Chong, if you’re reading this the PE Department would love something very similar for the Boys Prep. The action didn’t stop there! The boys were then tested on their football knowledge with Mr White’s Football Quiz. They had to navigate rounds of football logo’s, England players, stadiums, and anagrams of football clubs. By the time, the quiz had finished the boys were physically and mentally exhausted which meant they had some ‘down time’ until dinner before the eagerly anticipated laser tag.
The laser tag was a hotly discussed topic at dinner with certain boys coming up with strategies and which teachers to gang up on. However, it was Mr White who won the first game whilst Mr Blood & Mr Murton won the other two games. The boys had great pleasure in ganging up on the teachers especially Mrs Johnston and making sure that she didn’t win at all costs.
The final day of tour arrived and after much packing in the morning and room inspections to see which room had won the coveted ‘Tidiest room award’, it was time to say goodbye to St George’s Park and drive to our last fixture against Hatton United. The previous two days had taken its toll on the boys, but they were resilient in their matches and kept going despite succumbing to defeats. Their effort could not be faulted by anyone. After the usual handshakes and post-match pleasantries, it was time to hop back into the minibuses and head back to Avenue Elmers.
Whilst all good things have to come to end, let’s remember that in the words of Marcus Rashford ‘Always train hard, work harder, never give up’ .
Categories: Boys' Prep School